What Size Chicken Coop Do I Need? Chicken Coops for 4, 6 or 10 Chickens

April 29, 2021      Shed Tips

chicken coop backyard sc

No doubt, backyard chickens are all the rage these days. Some people want chickens for the fresh supply of eggs, others opt for a backyard chicken coop with four, six, or ten hens to give the kids a great experience and still others want to live less reliant on resources outside of themselves.

Whatever the case, the need for small backyard chicken coops is growing and with that comes questions about what size chicken coop you need to meet the needs of your flock.

Generally speaking, you should figure three square feet of space inside the chicken coop for each average-sized chicken and additional 5 square feet in outdoor space. But remember, that is generally speaking.

If you are asking the question, “What size chicken coop do I need?” read on…

Where to Buy a Chicken Coop in South Carolina?

I’m going to be clear up front. We do sell chicken coops 🙂

But, we also realize that our backyard coops simply will not fit everyone’s needs. So, throughout this post, you will find our coops for sale in South Carolina (which can be shipped to other states as well) but also other options for where you can get a coop that fits your needs and style. We want you to find a coop that will fit your needs even if you decide to buy it somewhere else!

With that out of the way, let’s dive into what you need to know for your important chicken coop purchase. We’re going to be using a Q&A format to get you to where you need to go.

Questions to Help Decide What Size Chicken Coop is Right

What type of chickens are you planning to buy?

The first big question you need to answer before you can determine the size of your chicken coop will be the kinds of hens you plan to purchase. We all know there are dozens of options when buying chicks for your backyard chicken farm. The American Poultry Association recognizes 53 large chicken breeds, not including the many specialty bantam breeds. Below you will find a handy chart with 40 different chickens including their weight, color, temperament, and even their egg-laying patterns.

What size chicken coop do I need

Will your Chickens be Free Range?

The size of your chicken coop will also depend on the outdoor space your hens will have. If your chickens will be free-range chickens, then you can obviously consider a smaller chicken coop. The coop can serve as a secure space for your chickens at night to protect them from predators and give them the rest they need so they can lay those fresh and beautiful eggs you are dreaming about.

Whatever the case, every chicken should have an ample amount of fresh air every day. They will be happier and your eggs will be more healthy.

Extra Tip: You might even want to consider an automatic chicken coop door to make it even easier for you. Some of them even have wifi controllers or are automated with the sunrise and sunset.

chicken coop with run

How about A Chicken Run?

If you do not want your hens roaming free-range on your property, then you could consider adding an outdoor chicken run to give your hens some area to run around outside. There are several advantages to adding a chicken run.

First, there will be less manure inside the coop. Less manure means ammonia levels in the chicken coop will be lower. High levels of ammonia are unhealthy no matter what breathing creature you have in your backyard.

Secondly, chickens with a chicken coop (including an outdoor run) will be happier and treat each other with greater respect. The extra space gives them more area to stay out of each other’s feathers (they don’t have hair).

The bottom line is this, just like humans, chickens will be happier and healthier if they get out into nature and have access to fresh air every day. If you want nice-looking chickens that are not getting into fights etc, consider adding a chicken run to your chicken coop.

Extra Tip: Whatever the case, make sure your coop has good ventilation.

chicken roosting space for hens

How Much Space Do Chickens Need to Roost?

The next question to consider is the space chickens need to roost.

Every chicken coop needs roosting space. A roost, also called a perch is where your chickens will rest and spend the night. They are typically within 2-3 feet of the floor of the chicken coop and run vertically as shown in the photos. They must be at the right height so the hens can easily reach them. If they are higher, then you need to consider a plank or steps for them to get to the roosting poles.

Why is this question important when considering the size of your coop?

The reason is that you will need to be sure to 6 to 10 inches on a roosting bar for each hen in your flock. If you have a chicken coop for 6 hens, then you should provide 36 to 60 inches of roosting space depending on the size of your hens. If you have a chicken coop for 10 hens, then you want to ensure you have 60 to 100 inches of roosting poles to give them plenty of space.

Note this the chicken coop in the above photo comes with two rows of roosting poles.

How Much Coop Space Should Each Chicken Have?

Now that we have considered the importance of having an outdoor space for your hens to keep them happy and healthy, we can look at the space a typical chicken will need inside a coop. Larger hens will obviously need more space than small bantam hens. Here are a few guiding principles and a chart including 40 different hen varieties to help you make your decision about the perfect size for your backyard flock.

Chart of Hen Breeds and Weight

Breed Name

Bird Size

Egg Color

Behavior

Egg Laying

Belgian D'Anver, or Antwerp Belgian, Barbu d'Anvers

1.8-3lbs

White

Active, flyer; hens calm, cocks can be aggressive

Fair

Buff Sablepoot/
Botted Bantam

2-4lbs

White or tinted in color

Adaptable to confinement or free range; mostly gentle; more easily handled.

Excellent

Appenzeller

3-4.5lbs

White

Not very tolerant of close confinement; flyer; active, flighty

Good

Jaerhon or Norwegian Jaerhon or Norske Jærhøne

3.2-4lbs

White

Adaptable to confinement, but prefers free range; active, flighty

Excellent

Ancona

4-6 lbs

White

Prefers free range; nervous & restless in confinement; flyer; active, flighty, marked wildness, avoids human contact

Excellent

Campine

4-6lbs

White

Economical eater; semi- adaptable to confinement, but prefers free range; flyer; alert, lively; can be curious; some are rather wild, others can be quite tolerant of humans

Good

Leghorn

4.5-6lbs

White

Economical eater; better adaptable to confinement then some Mediterranean; enjoys free range; flyer; flighty; spritely, noisy, nervous, usually avoids human contact.

Excellent

Ameraucana

4-5 lbs

Blue

Well adaptable
to confinement
or free range;
mostly calm,
non-aggressive

Good

Marans

5-8lbs

Dark brown

Varies widely by individual and strain.

Excellent

Andalusian

5.5-7lbs

White

Semi-adaptable to confinement, but prefers free range; active, flighty, noisy, avoids human contact

Good

Barnevelder

5-6lbs

Dark brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm, docile

Excellent

Aseel

5- 5.4lbs

Cream

Bears confinement better than most other game breeds; extremely fierce & pugnacious, but docile & easily handled when away from other cocks; because of aggressiveness, not recommended for a mixed flock

Excellent

Dominique or Dominike

5-7lbs

Brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm mostly, but more flighty than other dual purpose breeds

Good

Araucana

5-7.5lbs

Blue

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm, non- aggressive

Good

Catalana

6-8lbs

White

Less tolerant of close confinement; active, vigorous, avoids human contact

Good

Crevecoeur

6.5-8lbs

White

Suited for close (and dry) confinement; active; can be aggressive

Good

Holland or American Holland

6.5-8.5lbs

White

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm, good tempered

Good

La Fleche

6.5-8lbs

White

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; active, flighty, avoids human contact

Excellent

New Hampshire or New Hampshire Red

6.5-8.5 lbs


Light brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm; can be docile or aggressive; can be curious

Excellent

Faverolles

6.5-8lbs

Cream

Bears confinement well; alert; calm; very docile; genteel; prone to bullying by others, so may not do well in a mixed flock

Good

Australorp or Black Australorp

6.5-8.5lbs

Brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm, docile; more easily handled

Good

Buckeye

6.5-9lbs

Brown

Adaptable to confinement, very adaptable to free range; calm, docile; can be curious; more easily handled.

Good

Chantecler

6.5-8.5lbs

Brown

Bears confinement well; calm, docile, although there are reports of skittishness.

Excellent

Delaware

6.5-8.5lbs

Brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm, docile

Excellent

Rhode Island

6.5-8.5lbs

Brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; active, calm & fairly docile, can be aggressive (cocks are especially notorious)

Excellent

Wyandotte

6.5-8.5lbs

Brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm

Excellet

Dorking

7-9lbs

White

Adaptable to confinement or free range; calm; docile; stately or awkward; fattens easily; more easily handled

Poor

Minorca

7.5-9lbs

White

Adaptable to confinement, but prefers free range; restlessly active, flighty, avoids human contact

Excelent

Naked Neck or Transylvanian Naked Neck or Turken

7-8lbs

Light brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; active; calm, docile; more easily handled

Excellent

Java

7.5-9.5lbs

Brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm

Good

Langshan

7.5-9.5lbs

Brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; active for their size; graceful; not as calm or docile as other large breeds

Good

Malay

7-9lbs

Brown

Needs to be active; intolerant of close confinement; among the most aggressive, but more placid than most game birds; because of aggressiveness, not recommended for a mixed flock

Good

Plymouth Rock

7.5-9.5lbs

Brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm, docile; more easily handled

Excellent

Sussex

7-9lbs

Light brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; calm; gentle; active; can be curious; more easily handledgood

Good

Orpington

8-10lbs

Brown

Adaptable to free range; very adaptable to confinement; docile; more easily handled; can be bullied

Excellent

Spanish, White-Faced Black Spanish, Spanish White Ear, or Clownface Spanish, White-Faced Black Spanish, Spanish White Ear, or Clownface

5-6lbs

White

Adaptable to confinement, but prefers free range; flighty, haughty, noisy, avoids human contact

Excellent

Brahma

9.5-10lbs

Brown

Adaptable to confinement or free range; mostly gentle; more easily handled.

Good

Welsumer or Welsummer

9.7-16lbs

Dark brown

Well adaptable to confinement or free range; lively, but more docile than flighty.

Excellent

Jersey Giant

10-13lbs

Brown

Because of size, not an economical eater; adaptable to confinement or free range; calm, gentle, more easily handled.

Excellent

Sumatra

11-13lbs

White

Weeds to be active; intolerant of close confinement; pugnacious; because of aggressiveness, not recommended for a mixed flock

Good

chicken coop for six hens

Heavy Chickens = 4 Square Feet Per Hen

We are defining large chickens as those weighing between 10 and 13 pounds on the list of chickens listed above.

Larger chickens should have a minimum of 4 square feet in a chicken coop if they have access to the outdoors. A good rule of thumb for larger breeds would be 10 square feet per bird if you combine indoor and outdoor space. If you are going with 10 large hens for your chicken coop, you should buy or build a coop that has 40 square feet in the interior and an outdoor run with 60 square feet of outdoor space.

A 6’x7’ chicken coop would work great if you plan to do free-range chickens or would also work well with a 6’x10’ chicken run. The two combined would give you 102 total square feet for the 10 chickens in your backyard. If you want to keep them inside all the time, then an 8×14 chicken coop shed would give you 114 square feet. In that case, you may be better converting a shed into a chicken coop as most chicken coops come in smaller sizes. To help in that regard, see our blog on How to Turn a Shed into a Chicken Coop.

chicken coops south carolina

Light Chicken Breeds = 3 Square Feet Per Hen

We are defining light chickens as those weighing between 5 and 9 pounds on the list of chickens listed above in the article.

Lighter chicken breeds should have around 3 square feet of interior space and 4.5 square feet of outdoor space in the chicken run. In this case, you could fit around 10 chickens into a 5’x6’ chicken coop, 8 chickens into a 4’x6’ chicken coop, and six chickens into a 4’x5’ coop.

Again, be sure your hens each have another 4.5 square feet of exterior space to run around. That would mean you want to provide a 4’x12 outdoor run for 10 hens, a 4’x9’ chicken run for 8 hens and a 4’x7’ chicken run for six hens. You can always opt for the free-range idea and then skip the run.

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chicken coop for bantam hens

Bantam Hens = 2 Square Feet Per Hen

Bantam hens are certainly beautiful and unique. They are typically smaller than other chickens which means their eggs will be smaller and they will need a smaller chicken coop.

Bantam hens should have two square feet of space per hen in a chicken coop and at least three extra square feet of outdoor space in a chicken run.

For Bantam chickens, you should be able to give 10 hens comfortable space in a 4’x5’ hen house with another 4’x8’ outdoor chicken run. If you plan to keep the Bantams inside all the time, then 5 square feet or a 6’x10’ chicken coop would be the minimum. If you plan to have 6 bantam hens, your chicken coop should 3’x4’ with a chicken run that is 3’x6’. Again, it is not a good idea to keep your Bantam hens indoors at all times. We highly recommend adding a chicken run or allowing them to run free-range.

 

Find the Right Chicken Coop For Your Flock

There are certainly many more questions to answer on the topic of caring for your chickens after you have the chicken coop and chicken run ready to go, but now it’s time to break down a few of your options for a backyard chicken coop.

In the following section, we’ll give you a few options for buying a chicken coop for the number of hens you plan to house. Again, we do sell coops, but we also realize that our supply and styles are limited. So we hope you will find one from the list of options below.

Chicken Coops for 4 Chickens

You want a few chickens but just a few, right? If your plan is to have 4 chickens in your backyard coop, there here are a few options. Keep in mind that this is a very small coop and should you decide to add more hens, you may wish you had purchased a larger chicken coop for your four hens.

small chicken coop for four hens

A Small Hen House for 4 Hens

At Fisher Barns, we recommend this small chicken coop for four hens. While this hen house could hold up to five hens depending on the size, four hens should feel pretty comfortable inside this small hen house. The measurements for the coop are 34″ L x 45″ W x 54 – 1/2″ H. The features include:

  • 1 Screened window; window opens and closes for fresh air
  • 2 Nesting boxes
  • 2 Vents; on each gable end on the upper point to let air flow through the coop
  • 2 Roosts
  • 1 Man door
  • 1 Chicken door with treated wood ramp
  • Flooring & siding has a treated resin; this material is designed for superior moisture resistance and helps with the moisture levels that chickens naturally produce
  • Roof; the roof profile is designed so that rainwater runs off the back of the chicken coop keeping the water runoff away from your nesting boxes.

In addition, the ceiling has radiant barrier sheathing to keep the coop cooler in the summer heat.

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small chicken coop for four hens

Another Hen House for 4 Hens

This small hen house comes from the Hen House Collection based in Lancaster, County, PA. You can find your closest supplier by visiting their website. This coop has some handy features including an easily movable option. It has a built-in chicken run area which means your hens can easily have the space they need to roam without being free-range.

Note: On their website, it shows this is good for 3-5 hens. However, we do not know what size hens they account for when recommending a size.

Chicken Coops for 6 Chickens

Next, we take a look at chicken coops for six chickens. Here again, we might recommend going a bit larger to make sure you have the space you need should you decide to grow your flock. Below are two options including one which we offer that can be shipped anywhere in South Carolina and other states as well.

chicken coop for six hens

The EZ Chicken Coop for 6 to 10 Hens

This small chicken coop can house up to six to ten hens in your backyard. It measures 50-1/4” L x 52-1/2” W x 62-1/4” H and will come to you as a kit. All the coop panels and trim are painted and assembled, the hardware is installed, doors & windows are installed, the nesting boxes are assembled and metal is installed on the roof panel. In a very short time, you will have your coop for six hens ready to go.

We are recommending this coop for 6 hens since it will give you the space you need to grow your flock and/or give your hens the extra space they need to stay happy.

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chicken coop for hens

Hen House for 6 Hens

Here you can find a chicken coop for six hens that includes the following:

  • Tongue and groove siding
  • 65″ high – 12″ off the ground
  • 3 nesting boxes
  • Cedar stain with green trim
  • Forest green shingles

The Hen House Collection offers both stand-alone chicken coops and coops that include a chicken run area.

Chicken Coops for 10 Chickens

Find a chicken coop for 10 chickens and get that flock started soon. Here we again offer two options, one which we carry and another from The Hen House Collection. Take your pick.

large chicken coop for hens

An EZ Coop for 10 Hens

Our own chicken coop for 10 chickens will serve you well even if you plan to grow your flock of birds to increase your egg production. This chicken coop should easily manage ten hens and even 15 hens depending on the size of the bird. Measurements for the large chicken coop are 74″ L x 60″ W x 72-1/2″ H. Like the rest of our chicken coops, it will come to you in a kit that can be easily assembled. Some of the features included in this coop for 10-15 hens are:

  • 2 Screened windows; windows open and close for fresh air
  • 5 Nesting boxes
  • 2 Vents; vents are on each gable end on the upper point to let air flow through the coop
  • 2 Roosts
  • 1 Man door
  • 1 Chicken door with treated wood ramp
  • Flooring & siding has a treated resin
Request a Quote
chicken coop for hens

Another Coop for 10 Chickens

This chicken coop for 10 hens comes from The Chicken Coop Company. It combines a chicken coop and a large chicken run so your hens will have plenty of space to run around. The coop will come boxed and ready for your assembly. It is 65.5 inches wide x 67 inches tall x 42 inches long with three 37.5 inch roosting rods and one 36 inch roosting rod.

The chicken coop and run together include an easy to clean pull out tray to catch their waste and keep things clean, heavy gauge hardware, wire mesh, hard plastic lined under roof panels, Ajustlock bolt latches, supporting braces between run panels, Acrylic sliding window, Fold down and LOCKING window covers and more.

How about Chicken Coops for 100 Chickens?

That is a great question! Here is the answer. We can build a custom shed to serve as your chicken coop if you want to house a lot more birds. All you need to do is find a shed you like from our collection of buildings and then ask about customizing it with some coop features.

Please note that we are not always able to do this kind of customization, but you can follow our guide on how to turn a shed into a chicken coop and add the coop features you need for your flock.

Let’s get started!

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